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Old 08-16-2018, 12:11 PM  
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

T yesterday (a day early because he's out of town today and tomorrow). Went back and sat down. As I put my phone back in my purse, one of my daughter's apps opened and started playing loudly, which made me laugh and broke the ice a bit, then led to brief discussion on children's shows, particularly Dora. I felt an sense of relief that he seemed to be interacting with me and looking at me as usual, after what I'd shared the previous session.

I glanced over at sand tray: "Oh, it's still how I arranged it!" T: "When did you do something in the sand tray?" Me: "On Monday while you were reading the printout to occupy myself. See, it's all the animals gathered round this piece of wood, like it's a fire." T: "Ah so you're anthropomorphizing animals then. Or Disney-fying them." Me: "Don't read too much into it!" T: "I won't!" Brief discussion about how some T's use sand trays, then into drumming, as T said he knows another local therapist who drums and says it regulates heartbeat, like meditation.

Me: "I suppose we should talk more about Monday's session." T: "That was an incredibly short email you sent me!" Me: "Yeah, I know, you were probably surprised!" T: "I was." Me: "But that was all I really needed to know, that you were still OK with it. So what you said was all I needed." T: "It's good you were clear what you wanted." Me: "Though...I suppose you could have answered 'no'..." T: "Then what would have happened?" Me: "Right, we'd have talked about it today." T: "Exactly."

Me: "It's interesting...I know it was the weekend, so I'm sure you were just busy all day, but since I'd emailed you Sunday morning then hadn't heard anything that night and wasn't sure if I would before session...normally my first thought would have been 'Oh he's annoyed with me.'" T: "So what was it?" Me: "OK, now I feel awkward saying this, but...I was hoping you were OK. Like, that you hadn't been hit by a truck or something." T: "Hm, OK." Me: "But I think that's progress of some kind, right? That I didn't jump first to 'You're annoyed with me.' Because I didn't think you would be." T: "That seems like progress to me. Though how much time did you spend concerned about the hit by a truck thing?" Me: "Not that much really, was more a fleeting concern, not like I was obsessed about it. But also a little worried I'd show up and no one would come out to get me. Even though I know we've discussed what would happen in that case." T: "OK, good that you didn't spend long on it."

Me: "So...I'm trying to figure out how to continue Monday's discussion. Any thoughts?" T: "I'd really like you to recap what you feel we talked about. I sat done to write notes right after last session, and I had my pencil above the paper and didn't know what to write." Me: "Well, I think really I'd come to session with just brainstorms and not fully formed ideas. I felt it was more of a to-be-continued. I wasn't totally sure what came out of it either, or how I'd summarize it." T: "OK that makes me feel better."

T: "So I guess the first part, if I understood correctly, was about how you kind of wanted me to be attracted to you? But weren't sure if you wanted that?" Me: "Yeah, pretty much that. But there's also the part seemed kind of paradoxical, but it was like I was afraid of your being attracted to me at the same time." T: "Why do you think that might be? You mean in the sense of, if I treated you differently because of that?" Me: "I think because...attraction is fleeting, it can go away." I started crying, "Like, if you had a younger, prettier client come in, then...maybe you'd forget about me." T: "Do you feel like you want to know if you're my most attractive client?" Me: "I don't know, not exactly...I think it's just all tied up in wanting to feel special, you know? Like I talked about that before with ex-MC, where he said 'You're special, just as all my clients are special,' and even though he said it that way, it's like that was enough, I just needed him to say I was special."

T: "Do you feel like if someone thinks you're special, they'll care more about you? And maybe be less likely to abandon you?" Me: "Yeah, I think that's what it is. Like how I wanted to be teacher's pet, for my bosses to like me...then when I had a job where my boss didn't seem to like me, that was really hard for me. So...I think it's an authority figure thing, because I don't feel the same need to be special, like, to my friends. I mean, maybe sort of, but, not in the same way..."

T said that made sense, and I forget what he said after that, because my mind was busy putting something together. I think a lightbulb may have literally popped up over my head as I was like, "I think I just figured something out." T: "What's that?" Me: "I think the reason I was so upset I was rejected from the PhD program--I mean aside from it being a professional disappointment--I think I've basically been in a depression since then." T: "It was a huge blow." Me: "Yeah, but I just realized that maybe part of why it hit me so hard is that I was basically rejected by 11 authority figures (the professors I had interviews with)."

T: "Hmm." Me: "So it crushed me in that way, too. Did I ever tell you what my mom said when I told her I was formally rejected?" T: "Do I really want to know?" Me: "Maybe not...She said, well, she may have said a brief 'I'm sorry' first, but the main thing she said was, 'Don't you think they were looking for someone with more experience?'" T visibly winced said, "Ouch." Me: " just felt like...she didn't think I should have gotten in anyway. Like, how is that supposed to make me feel?" T: "That reminds me I can't think of it. But it's this square with four options of how to support someone and which is best vs. worst, and her reply would have been 'negative specific.' I think the worst was 'negative general.' But hers is near the bottom. I'll look it up later."

Me: "Yeah...and it was also...she wasn't really checking in with me at all during the process to ask if I'd heard anything." (More tears) "It was like you...and of course H...and some friends, they checked in with me and seemed to care more about whether I got this thing that I really wanted than my own mother did..." T: "Her reaction to the whole thing does seem odd." Me: "Even when I first told her about applying--and I waited until after I'd applied--she seemed negative about it, like not at all excited that she could have a daughter with a doctorate. I wanted her to be excited because I was excited, because it meant something to me."

T: "I really can't understand what's behind her reaction. But it must be her stuff, ot about you." Me: "You mean like her anxiety, like the thing you said about having compassion for her?" T: "I don't see how anxiety would have led her to make that comment though. Maybe something else." Me: "Maybe it's wasn't the path she pictured for me?" T: "Maybe."

T: "I feel like you're continually looking for someone to give you what your parents didn't, in childhood or even now." Me: "You mean looking to you for that?" T: "Not just me." Me: "Authority figures in general?" T: "I really feel like you're looking for it from anyone who could possibly give it to you, whether me, authority figures, friends, anyone." Me: "Yeah, that makes sense." T: "And then when it feels like you might have it, then you get scared, because then you could lose it." Me (crying): "Yes...It's like I both want it and am terrified of it. Hm, just like the thing about you being attracted to me. So I guess this all ties together."

T: "Yes it does seem to connect to the attraction thing." Me: "And something else I kind of realized about's like, OK I feel kind of awkward saying this, but, uh, I think you're an attractive man. So, it's like, Adult LT would be flattered if you found her to be attractive, like because you're attractive, too. But I don't think that's where this is coming from. It feels like it's coming from a younger part of me. Like a little kid part almost." T: "OK, so maybe it's more about being cared for then." Me: "Yeah, like...trying to make up for stuff I didn't get in childhood. Trying to fill the void, which I talked about before with ex-MC. Where...he said because it's from childhood, that no one can really fill it, that I have to either learn to fill it myself or else just learn to accept and live with it." T: "That's a good way of putting it. I do think it's something you can have other people help with but mostly have to fill for yourself, and I think it's something we're working on in here." Me: "Yes."

Got out my phone confirmed Monday, requested the following Friday instead of usual Thursday since I'd be away most of the week after and wanted session to be closer. Which he was able to do.

Went over to pay. Me (knowing he'd be away next few days): "So, if you're traveling, then safe travels, and if not, like if you're just staying home, then have a good weekend." He gave me a warm smile and, shaking my hand, said, "Thanks. You have a good weekend." Me: "Thanks you too." T: "See you Monday." Me: "See you."
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